Environmental Management Office
FDOT Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process Overview
The Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process is Florida's procedure for reviewing qualifying transportation projects to consider potential environmental effects in the Planning phase. This process provides stakeholders the opportunity for early input, involvement, and coordination. It provides for the early identification of potential project effects and informs the development of scopes for projects advancing to the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) phase.
Stakeholders involved in the ETDM process generally include Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)/Transportation Planning Organizations (TPOs), county and municipal governments, federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, and the public. To facilitate intergovernmental interaction, each of the seven geographic Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District has an Environmental Technical Advisory Team (ETAT). The ETATs for the geographic FDOT Districts are responsible for reviewing the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (Turnpike) projects located in those areas. The ETAT includes representatives from MPOs/TPOs, state and federal agencies, and participating Native American Tribes. ETAT members and the public have the opportunity to provide input to the FDOT regarding a project's potential effects on the natural, physical, cultural, and community resources throughout the Planning phase of project delivery. These comments help to determine the feasibility of a proposed project; focus the issues to be addressed during the PD&E phase; allow for early identification of potential avoidance, minimization, and mitigation opportunities; and create products that may be used in the PD&E phase to promote efficiency and consistency during project development.
The ETDM process connects the Planning and PD&E phases by carrying forward planning products, previous analyses, and decisions supporting transportation project implementation during subsequent project development phases. Furthermore, the ETDM process is fully consistent with the streamlining objectives of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
The ETDM process is composed of two project-screening events: Planning and Programming. During the Planning Screen, comments received from the ETAT members and the public help FDOT and MPOs/TPOs to identify environmental considerations that assist in assessing projects for inclusion or advancement in Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) and further into the Cost Feasible Plan. During the Programming Screen, qualifying projects are reviewed when being considered for funding in the FDOT Five Year Work Program or MPO Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), or if already funded, before advancing to the PD&E phase. It should be noted that priority projects in non-MPO areas and qualifying bridge projects do not typically complete a Planning Screen; however, a Planning Screen may be conducted at the discretion of the FDOT District depending on the nature the project.
Coordination with the ETAT members is facilitated through the Environmental Screening Tool (EST), an Internet-accessible interactive database and mapping application. The EST brings together resource and project data from multiple sources into one consistent format. It provides quick, standardized Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses, identifying potential natural, physical, cultural, and community resources present in the project area. The EST also allows the ETAT members the opportunity to provide input on proposed projects. Project information is made available to the public through the ETDM Public Access Site (https://etdmpub.fla-etat.org/est/).